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Bicycling Shaw Island in the San Juans

       Even though I espouse, "Just Get Going" type San Juan trips, I still do a little research from time to time.

bicycle Shaw Island in the San Juan's

         A few years back I stopped at Shaw Landing. (Thats the little float and seasonal market next to the Shaw ferry landing at the entrance to Blind Bay)  We got some snacks and while there inquired about coming back in a day or two and leaving the boat at the dock while we explored the island on our bicycles. 

     We were not told straight out yes or no, they said something about docks being for paid overnighter's and to check back later.       I decided not to come back and we went to Lopez.  There's more  >>>    


False Creek in Vancouver - it's a great cruise destination

        I know, I know, Vancouver is not the San Juan's, but it is definitely in the area.  We had such a fantastic experience I felt everyone should hear about it.

        Sooner or later we get tired of going to the same great places and Canada is the answer if you are in the San Juan's.

Boating to Vancouver and anchoring at False Creek

         At sixty miles from Squalicum Harbor, Vancouver is one day's drive away for powerboats and two days for pokey sailboats.  With an overnight stop at Sucia or Patos Island you can break the mileage down to a thirty six mile jaunt, and have time to explore after you get anchored in Vancouver.

         Your destination is False Creek in NW Vancouver. For those of you going for your charts to find False Creek, it is a dead end bay off the end of English Bay in Burrard Inlet.

          If you already know Vancouver -- False Creek surrounds Granville Island Peninsula and shopping district. One last little hint -- False Creek and English Bay form one side of Stanley Park. (That's right, the Lions Gate suspension bridge Stanley Park)

        Now that you are properly oriented let's cut to the details. Stanley Park trails and the False Creek shoreline promenade provide almost unlimited level bicycling.  Granville Island is like a giant Saturday Market, only with permanent buildings.  You could spend a week here and just get started.  The surrounding high rise condos are some of the most expensive property around, and you can drop your anchor and spend the night in front of them for free.

Dinghy dock at False Creek
Free  3 hr slips and dock space at Granville Island Mall make getting dinner and souvenirs easy.
Now if they can just get the tide to quit going up and down or put in elevators.

            The city welcomes transient boaters and even has a welcome committee boat (at the dock under the Granville Island bridge) stuffed with brochures and knowledgeable ambassadors.

Of course there is a fuel dock, and paying by the liter sounds cheap at first.

          When you arrive in False Creek simply get on your phone and call the 800 number to check in with customs and immigration, it's that easy.

          If you don't want to anchor, there are plenty of marinas and yachts clubs willing to take your money or extend reciprocal privileges.   


False creek dinghy sailing
False Creek is big enough to go dinghy sailing and the entire inlet is a no-wake zone.
Vancouver is on our short list for a return visit!
Did I mention everyone is friendly?

           If you need more cruising to round out your trip, consider running around the point Stanley Park occupies and scoot under Lions Gate bridge up Burrard inlet.  You might even run the eighteen or so miles up to Indian Arm Provincial Park.  Go to ActiveCaptain "live map" to check out the possibilities.

To help or not to help? - boaters assisting other boaters - basic docking tips are common sense

        In the San Juan's, you will either  #1, already be at the dock with your boat, or  #2, coming at the dock with your boat.  All the other skippers are in the same situation.

        The runabout or daysailer or forty footer all have windage and current issues, and when it is crunch time, things happen fast.

        The driver of the smallest vessel may have decades of experience, and the person with the largest yacht may be a newbie over his head in bells and whistles.   In all cases the considerate proper boater will get out there and be helpful when a fellow boater is coming in.

Here are some basic tips some of us use when docking:

  1. Explain to your crew ahead of time exactly what you are doing, and what you expect them to do.
  2. Prepare your fenders, dock lines, and boat hook ahead of time.
  3. Sometimes it is wise to drive up and make a full stop out a ways to judge the wind and current.
  4. Put on pfd's - at the dock is where most drownings occur.
  5. Having a plan, also includes an abort action should things go awry.
  6. If someone is on the dock offering to help --- hand them a rope.
  7. When the next boat arrives, get out there and be helpful.

boating assist at the dock

       helping other cruisers

Nice boat gramps, need a hand?